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June 16, 2022 4 min read

Big W Launches Toy Recycling Program with TerraCycle

GFZ's! How was your week?! Welcome back to this week's Happy Earth News blog! 

Department store giant Big W has launched a toy recycling program in partnership with TerraCycle across 176 stores! It's called Toys for Joy! Let us tell you why this is so huge! 

After a trial, the program saw over 18 tonnes of old toys collected, and now it's rolling out across ALL stores. It is estimated that over 26.8 Million toys are discarded each year in Australia alone, so you betcha it's time to act! But it's not like we can pop them in our curb-side recycle bins, so what is the solution and how does recycling toys work?! 

Big W Toy Recycling Program Good Earth News Blog

Where Do I Donate The Toys?

Big W customers will be encouraged to drop their pre-loved toys in the Toys for Joy chest-like boxes in front of all Big W stores! Look for the giant box labelled 'Toys For Joy'! The donations will all then get passed onto TerraCycle to reduce landfills. Woohoo!

So…What happens to the toys?

The program is aimed at broken or worn-out toys that otherwise wouldn't be donated! If your toys are still in working order, Terracycle still recommends donating your unwanted toys to charities or op shops near you! 

The program not only saves worn-out toys from landfills, but the recycling process also takes complex materials like metal, rubber and a variety of plastics and turns them into new materials for reuse and turned into new fun things for kids! 

Which toys are not accepted?

There is a small list of toys that are not accepted in this particular recycling program that include:

  • Books
  • Batteries in toys, but did you know Aldi & Officeworks have programs to recycle your batteries? Woohoo!
  • Board games
  • Wooden toys
  • Play-doh, paint and slime
  • Pens, pencils, crayons or paint brushes. Officeworks can also help out with this one! 
  • Oversized toys such as bikes, scooters, skateboards, and sports toys such as soccer goals. 

If you head to the TerraCycle website, you will find recycling programs for most of those items too! 

Other ways to recycle toys…


Op shops are a great place to send your old toys if they are still in reasonable working condition! Another option is to ask local child care and schools if they are taking on toy donations! This is a great way to give back to your community! 


Christmas, birthdays, baby showers! There are so many ways to regift old toys! 

Hold onto them! 

If your kids are outgrowing certain toys, you could always hold onto them to pass down to the next generation! Store them away if you have the space! 

Mend them! 

Are you a bit of a DIY'er? Perhaps it could be a fun family activity to do a toy fixing afternoon where everyone works together to save the toys! We've all seen Toy Story 2, and we know how this plays out for the best!  

Create A Community Toy Library!

A Toy Library is a place where people can borrow toys, puzzles and games in your community! Toy libraries aim to support families who may not have access to toys for their children. You can find toy libraries near you or start our own here!

Sustainable Toys And Kids Activities Go For Zero

3 Sustainable & Plastic Free Toys Brands to Try!

Have you seen our blog on plastic-free parenting, where we share 6 Tips for Raising Zero Waste kids? We share some great ideas for zero-waste activities and toys that your kids will love! 

1. One for the bubs! One Chew Three

From one Mumma, two boys, and three teeth to a beautiful line of handmade food-grade silicone baby teethers and toys, One Chew Three is a home-based business with a passionate story. As a mum herself, the founder of this company puts her whole heart into creating beautiful and safe baby products that any mum (and bub) would be proud to carry. Simple, organic, and toxin-free, there's genuinely no stopping this! 

2.  Eco Crayons 

Eco Crayons are the natural, non-toxic, and plant-based art products you and your kids will love! Tired of watching children in her classroom smear heavy metals, synthetic particles, and plastics across their little creations, the mum behind this Australian-owned brand set out to make a difference. Eco Crayons are a blend of safe, non-toxic ingredients and eco-friendly packaging to help your kids draw, paint, explore, inquire, and make their creative dreams come to life!

3. Poppy & Daisy Designs

Take plastic-free play to the next level with the clever creations from Poppy & Daisy. Each eco craft kit and activity on this page is designed and handmade by an Aussie mum for optimal sensory, development, and imagination boosting results. Top it off with rigorous testing from the founder's kids, Poppy & Daisy, and you can rest assured knowing your kids will love the toys as much as you do! 

Loved this story? We think you might love our blog on Plastic-Free Parenting, where we share 6 Tips for Raising Zero-Waste Kids over on our Sustainable Living Blog! It's a goodie! 

You can find more good Earth News Stories from around the world like this over at our Happy Earth News Blog!

Know of another incredible recycling initiative? We would love to hear from you: askusanything@goforzero.com.au.

GFZ Team xx 

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